How long do you plan to keep your Boston investment property?
When you’re looking at a long-term investment and you’re expecting to earn money from this property for a decade or longer, you’ll need a specific plan for maintaining it. Quick fixes will not work. You’ll need a substantive maintenance approach to the care of your property. The goal is to protect not only its condition but also its value.
How can you keep that rental property modern, clean, updated, and attractive? What will make your existing tenants stay in place and what will attract new residents to the home?
In our experience managing Boston properties, we know that three things contribute to maintaining your investment property over the long term: preventative maintenance, good relationships with vendors and tenants, and a plan for improvements and upgrades.
Here’s what we mean.
Partnerships with Tenants and Vendors
Remember that you’re not maintaining your property all on your own.
You can partner with some great vendors to maintain your investment over time, and you can educate and motivate your tenants to help you take good care of your property and contribute to its upkeep and value.
Educate your Boston tenants
Rental property owners are responsible for the wear and tear that occurs at a Boston rental property. When you’re holding that property for many years, you can expect a lot of wear and tear to show up between tenants. Your renters will come and go during those turnover periods, and you’ll have to invest the time and resources that bring the property back to the perfect condition you want it in.
Good tenants lead to less wear and tear, so be mindful when you’re screening. Look for responsible residents with a good rental history. Share your expectations with tenants before they move in. Let them know what they’re responsible for in terms of maintenance, cleaning, and upkeep. Whether it’s regular filter changes, mowing the lawn, or making timely repair requests, remember that you’re working together to protect your property.
Partner with licensed and insured vendors
Having the right vendors and contractors on your list of preferred professionals will be a huge part of maintaining your property over time. In fact, you can’t maintain your home at all unless you have a team of people you can call for emergency repairs or routine fixes.
Establish these relationships early. The sooner your roofer, HVAC tech, and plumbers get to know your property, the more information they’ll have about how to keep it working well. You will need these contacts throughout the life of your property. When you have good relationships in place, you can expect faster service and lower prices.
Preventative Maintenance for Boston Investment Property
Preventative maintenance throughout the year will not only keep your property in good condition, but it will also extend the lifespan of expensive systems and appliances.
Here’s what to take care of on an ongoing basis:
- HVAC health. Inspect your HVAC system and take a look at your heating and cooling unit whenever you get the chance because replacing it will cost thousands of dollars. In Boston, we use our heat all winter long, and the air conditioning is necessary for the increasingly hotter summers we’ve experienced. You’ll want to keep those systems running efficiently.
- Preventative plumbing. Always look for leaks and signs of water intrusion. Water can be problematic, whether it’s a burst pipe or an irrigation system that is out of control. Keeping your plumbing system in good shape will contribute to the long-term health of the house.
- Inspect the exterior of the property. Look for tree branches that may be dangerously close to the windows or knocking against the roof. Check for foundation issues, gutter and drainpipe clogs, or any safety issues such as uneven pavement.
You can’t show up at your occupied property every month with the intention of conducting these checks. But, you can let tenants know that you’ll conduct a maintenance walk-through once or twice a year to make sure there aren’t any issues that need attention.
Seasonal Maintenance is Preventative Maintenance
A lot of your maintenance over the years will be seasonal, especially in Boston, where we experience all four seasons rather intensely. The threat of snow and freezing rain on your pipes and your electrical wires is pretty serious. In the summer, a drought can devastate your landscaping while too much rain can cause problems for your basement and your roof.
Winterize your property. Begin preparing for summer landscaping needs before it gets too hot.
You can’t stop at interior features when you’re maintaining your rental property for the future. Make sure your outdoor space, yards, pools, and balconies are also in great condition. They should be safe, attractive, and updated from time to time to reflect the best safety standards and maintenance precautions.
Keep Up with Improvements to your Boston Property
The final piece that will keep your investment property earning you money over time is renovations and updates.
New homes are coming on the market all the time. Your property will have to compete for tenants with those new construction condos, updated apartment buildings, and single-family homes in gated communities.
Make improvements and updates an ongoing part of your maintenance plan. Fresh paint is essential during turnovers. You don’t want to leave a carpet that’s stained or old. In fact, maybe you’ll rip up the carpet and install some hard surface floors that are easier to maintain and more attractive to renters.
Keep up with lighting, kitchen appliances, and technology. More and more homes have video doorbells. Tenants are looking for smart homes that provide them with the option to remotely set their thermostat or sync their appliances with a smartphone app.
Pay attention to the market and what it’s demanding and make the necessary improvements.
We love working with Boston rental property owners who plan to keep their properties for the long term. We can help you maintain those properties. Contact us at Platinum Realty Group for all of your Boston property management and real estate needs.